Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Take the Money and Run


Four times, I have attended One Big Event, an annual formal dinner-dance. It is a fundraiser for a local gay and lesbian organization (Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective) and affords an opportunity for everyone to dress to the nines… guys in tuxedos and gals in gowns (or vice versa) dining on rubber chicken and dancing to loud music.

First two times I attended, the event was held in a hotel and the ticket cost $100.

The third time I attended, they moved to a bigger venue, a convention center and the ticket price was bumped up to $125. The ticket still cost $125 last year, but this year, they bumped the price up to $150!

It is bad enough that they bumped up the price for no apparent reason, but I never felt very welcome by the folks running the event. The absence of a T in the name of the organization should have been a red flag.

Two years ago, the organization attempted to segregate the attending transgender women to a separate bathroom! Can you believe it? I found it unconscionable that a gay and lesbian organization would be so insensitive to transgender folks.

And each year, the organization’s photographer makes the rounds and takes photos of all the attendees including the transgender folks. And each year, the group manages to exclude photos of transgender folks from the photo slideshow of the event that appears on their website.

Just a coincidence, maybe, but the local newspaper that covers the event every year always includes photos of transgender folks in their report (my photo has appeared twice!).

I guess the newspaper is more open-minded than the gay and lesbian organization, which just takes our money and runs. Maybe I will take my money and run somewhere else.





Source: Vogue

Street style during Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015.






Actor Ned Birkin femulating in the 1993 British film The Cement Garden. When a male visitor asks why the young boy is dressing like a girl, his sister responds, “Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, because it's OK to be a boy, but for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading. But secretly you'd love to know what it's like, wouldn't you? What it feels like for a girl?”


  1. Withholding "green" is always the best protest!
    It's unfortunate how many transphobic bigots still are lurking in the the Gay and Lesbian community-and Goddess forbid if we want to use their restroom!

  2. Stana -

    Your comment on the Hartford GLBT organization is why I've advocated that the Trans community start building friends outside of the GLB community, as the GLB's can't be trusted to look after our interests once their needs have been met. As much as it is a big risk, the various kink communities tend to welcome us, and have just as much need to be accepted by the larger society. It might be possible to leverage friendships with those communities to get what we need....


    1. Yup, far to often I've heard "I get gay, but what's with this transgender thing"

  3. I have read many times that we should try and separate ourselves from the LGBT group. Maybe it was here that I have read that the first three LGB all have to do with sexual orientation whereas the T has to do with gender, quite a different subject that I personally would appreciate if others understood the difference.

  4. Oh this is sad to read :-(

    Are we the minority of minorities?

    1. Read it and weep! As that is the reality. And even we don't really get it

  5. As often as not when I get out I will go to an LGBT bar or club since safety is very important and in the places I frequent I do feel safe BUT and it is a big BUT, it seems to me that us 'T' folks are not and better known to LGBT people than to the civilian population at large. As Nadine indicated LGB is sexual orientation. "T" is not focused on that but tends to be more concerned with gender and presentation.

    1. Gender is far more variable then sex. With sex you have only two choices or both choices. With gender. You can totally be outstanding in your own field!

    2. So the alternative? Be who we are in the real world. The gay community for us, is just one more threshold to step through.

  6. I think that humanity will reach true maturity when no one thinks it's degrading for a boy to dress like a girl.

  7. Yup! That about concludes my feelings with the glb(t) community! Even though my BFF is a lesbian! There most certainly is a disconnect! I can't tell you the numbers if gay peop,e who have told me they don't understand trans folk... Hmmm and they expect unconditional tolerance of ther life style... Do t get me wrong. We "all" need to unite.but really! ThNk you your pointing out an elephant in the room

  8. Stana I do not frequent LGBT events nor do I go to gay bars to dress. I also am not an advocate for the LGBT alliance as this is not the first time that there have been insensitivity issues regarding this tenuous alliance. The T stands on its own as an identity issue and I think its high time that we separate the causes and go it alone...Joanna

  9. Today the health collective helped a trans-women fill out a Probate Court name change form, helped another trans-women find a primary care physician, and yesterday they talked to a community social worker to help her to understand what her client will be going through as he transition and what resources are available to him.

    They have a peer moderated trans-support group that meets twice a month, there is also a professional moderate support group for spouses that meets once a month and they have had at least one trans-person on their Board. There is a constant stream of trans-people there each day taking advantage of their dental program and STD testing.

    Yes, that sucked when they had a “trans” bathroom but after they received complaints from us they never did it again and the Director apologized to me. It also was wrong when the MC in 2011 didn’t mention the passage the anti-discrimination bill. Yeah I agree they do make mistakes but they try to learn from their mistakes.

    The price when up because they have had huge cuts in Ryan White and other grants. As a result they cut back on their paid staff. I believe they are going to be hurting as a result of the price increase but they are caught between a rock and a hard place as their funding keeps getting cut and they try to keep up the dental clinic open.